French poultry industry group supported the government's decree banning meat imports from animals treated with growth antibiotics, a practice prohibited in the European Union since 2006, but which still needs to be fully implemented particularly for the poultry sector.
France is anticipating an EU-wide measure that had been due to enter into force late last month but was delayed by missing legislation on sanitary checks, the farm ministry said in a statement.
The French ban will be effective on 22 April, giving professionals two months to obtain an assurance from their suppliers that meat does not come from breeding using growth antibiotics.
France imported about 45% of the chicken it consumed last year, including both EU and non-EU origins, mainly Brazil and Thailand. By giving antibiotics when the animals are not sick, the bacteria get used to the remedy and gradually develop resistance, making antibiotics less effective when really needed, the ministry said.
Anvol welcomed France's move but said the ban would only be effective when implemented EU-wide since a lot of imports transit through the port of Rotterdam.